NEW YORK, March 19 New York State governor
Andrew Cuomo has named 10 banks, including Capital One Financial
Corp and SunTrust Banks Inc, that he says are
sitting on $41 million in insurance money owed to victims of
Superstorm Sandy, which hit the northeastern United States last
The naming of what Cuomo describes as the "bottom ten banks"
comes a month after he ordered the state's financial watchdog to
investigate three insurance companies he said were being too
slow in settling claims with Sandy victims
The storm caused around $40 billion of damage in New York
State and impacted millions of people. Loss of property tax
revenues, emergency funds and hefty repair bills have put an
additional strain on the stretched municipal finances throughout
the state, despite aid from the federal government.
"Some banks have continued to lag especially far behind the
rest and it's well past time for them to pick up the pace,"
Cuomo said in statement on Tuesday.
An investigation by the state's watchdog, the Department of
Financial Services (DFS), reviewed 33 banks and mortgage
servicers. The report found the bottom 10 banks were holding
back 44 percent of the insurance claims they received compared
with an industry-wide average of 17 percent.
The 10 banks are holding back 1,109 checks, the statement
said. One of them, Selene Financial, was holding back 71 percent
of the Sandy funds it received, according to the report.
Insurance checks are issued jointly to homeowners and their
banks, which means the institutions need to sign off before any
money is paid out.
Flagstar Bank, which was named among the bottom 10, declined
to comment. The other institutions did not immediately respond
to requests for comments.
The other six banks or mortgage providers named by Cuomo
were Select Portfolio, Astoria Federal, Nationstar Mortgage,
Specialized Loans, OneWest Bank and Mid-Island Mortgage.
By comparison, the DFS report showed that three of the
nation's largest banks - Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase
and Bank of America Corp - have payed out more
than 89 cents of every dollar received.
The banks the DFS examined have paid out in excess of $1.1
billion in Sandy insurance claims, the report added.